Maria Marcu-PopArt is the illustrator of all four numbers of the neo-avant-garde magazine “[TAM-TAM]” from the period 2015-2018.
In 2018, her first art album entitled “Human Odyssey” appears in the bilingual Romanian-English limited edition which contains an impressive series of 192 mini-collages made a year earlier.
At the end of 2019, also in a bilingual Romanian-English limited edition, is printed her first monographic retrospective art album entitled “Charta Erotica” containing 126 of the most important personal creations of the first decade of artistic activity.
Reviews of both art albums published by Maria can be read on Babelio French website:
In 2020 she begins to illustrate the ”ManiFArtE” magazine (Manifestos & Fine Art Eretica) – an universal subrealistic show-window from The New Vanguard.
INTERVIEW with Maria Marcu-PopArt
– from the second issue of the neo-avant-garde magazine “ManiFArtE” –
The artist who manifests
Reporter: From where and to where „MANIFARTE”? How and why did you choose this concept?
Maria Marcu – PopArt: You know it’s the beginnings that count for each of us. There is a limit to what can be endured, a limit to revelation and a limit to initiative. Let’s say that the unbearable led me to the artistic revelation of the personal frond gesture. Actually, there were two of us: me and my husband, the poet Daniel Marcu. Our life seems like a sheen of water rarely pierced by destructive ultraviolet rays, only when you decide to respond one way or another you commit to fight, defining yourself in relation to what surrounds you. The approach we chose as an answer was that of artistic manifestos (MANIF + ARTE). That’s how I thought we could vibrate, that we would manage to save something from the simplicity of the blades of grass that we are: contorted emotions, jammed feelings, exiled desires. And, after a while, it was natural to enter the almost virgin territories of plastic and poetic eroticism. Think: MANI (manifesto) & F (fine) ART (art) E (erotic).
Rep: Now I explain. I understand where you are coming from, but where is your manifesting art going?
MMP: To the wide-open minds of my peers, the gesture is not one-sided, I never imagined it that way. Know that singularity is often haunted by loneliness and I never wanted that for a moment. Any idea or artistic act that manifests for people does nothing but collect the similar experiences of those who come into contact with them, tuning them to a unique frequency.
Rep: Do you still believe in the noble ideal, when social-economic strategies point to consumption as a factor of progress?
MMP: If I didn’t believe, I wouldn’t dare to do what I do. I like to build, arching my mood on the need to know and define myself better. I represent the utopia of the honest Self, without the artificial reinforcements of social mimicry.
Rep: But, however you put it, the reporting of art is one and the same as that of the entire human civilization at the scale of the collective understanding of a certain era. Without multiplication there is only the solitary gesture of separation. Is this what you want?
MMP: Believe me, I only wish to vibrate in my steadfast way for the liberation of the self from the shackles of the present. That’s why I said that “MANIFARTE is a conceptual movement that places the artist before his body“. Common ideas are the steps that bring us closer to each other, and I think that is the primary role of my art, not the display of the intolerant gulf as an arbitrary resolution.
Rep: Will you be able to keep up with all the pretense of the world today and tomorrow?
MMP: Success seems to me to be the most difficult thing to achieve in an artistic initiative, and anyway posterity is the one that decides whether you have succeeded or not. Consolidating the entire rediscovery of the most intimate human emotion is, however, the real stake of the paradigm change process. As I move forward in my life project, I will find out if I came even close to what I set out to do. But I share one more of my beliefs: the world changes only when people change.
”I love your art style and topics. The way you bring confident, dominant women to life. I like that you are not afraid to delve into the fetish arena, and you do it bravely and beautifully. I am looking forward to your new pieces and what visions you’ll incorporate into your work. I just stumbled across your work and I was in awe. You are like the Banksy of pin ups! Brilliant! I’m looking forward to receiving these pieces and your book.” – Josh Nyman, collector U.S.A.
Fragment from the preface of the 2019 art album “Charta Erotica”
”The clear outline of the organic compositions, the artist declaring herself a one-sided portraitist, driven only by the reactions of the erotic-charged tectonic plate from the depths of the feminine ego, allows us to spot the trace of a unique coordinate in the Romanian independent art so far. The materialization of a pictorial career in pop culture is the defining element during the first 10 years of activity of the artist Maria Marcu-PopArt. The autocracy of artistic misogynism is finally unveiled by a strong hand that knows how to lead us through all the desires’ subterranean, that workshop painters have not even dared to propose it to the public eye. Here it is! A woman painter manages to impose cohabitation between figurative sensuality and militant essence, without being challenged for her way of artistic expression, but this even begin to represent the argument of temptation for lovers of erotic art.”
The innovative thermographic technique
„Representing an innovation of the artist, the thermovision destructures in paintings tissues and light fields, analyzing and reinterpreting them, like special image effects. By its constancy and at maximum intensity, it can even become optically turbulent, leaving us each time to restructure, through our own chromatic code, the entire visual field. The effect of color distortion intersects with firm lines and contours, meant to highlight precisely the center of attention. The fire that seems to consume the organicity, in fact, ends up to calibrate the artistic message and precisely reproduces the state of mind of the character represented, straight from the artist. Escaping manifestations of the violent everyday imaginary, of an eroticism so loaded and overflowing, the thermographic visions are substituted for the feeling of social guilt, spreading common fantasies and restating the leitmotif of the universal attraction.
Figurative-thermographic painting was developed by Maria Marcu-PopArt as an innovative technique of separation in color tones. Used in 3 or 4 basic colors, the minimum chromatic separation in a work is 6 tones and the maximum is 9 tones. In other words, the artist uses a gradient (decelerated or accelerated, depending on the printed effect) of about 18-24 minimum shades and 27-36 maximum shades for each work. As the technique of color decomposition advances, the number of shades may increase significantly, depending on the expected final result. The pictorial thermography is the fruit of the artist’s chromatic imagination – she is the one who can print the work the relative order of personal reflection in the controlled chaos of colors and shades.
Maria Marcu-PopArt paints not what she believes, but only what she feels. She is the recipient of real emotions, released from the system of social values, transmitting them in the most convenient way in the form of illustrative interpretations for the era we are going through. People desperately want to find in art traces of contemporary culture and civilization, and the Romanian artist’s paintings fully offer this possibility; spontaneity, nonconformism, audacity, energy or fetishistic fantasies (dominated or respectively dominant), all are elements present in the erotic art trenchantly depicted.”
The retrospective of an intimate show
„ The thermographic technique is a working tool of the artist who portrays in an original overflowing manner, thus centering and isolating the human figure from the constant background noise, calling for the release of powerful visual effects. Characteristic for the highly refined portraiture, the illustrative style of Maria Marcu-PopArt becomes a transmitter that emotionally transfigures the subject of her work – the woman -, operating at the levels of understanding, tolerance and acceptance by the viewer of sexual diversity, but also attracting attention, through militant artistic works, on human exploitation and trafficking, dehumanization, or on the danger of climate change. (…)
Thus, she managed to approach the taste of a wider audience, through non-conformist frameworks and profound iridescences that will always leave the sensation of a great intimate show, a perpetual way of celebrating and discovering the great beauty.”
Fragment from the preface of the 2018 art album “Human Odyssey”:
„ Abandoning the artist in an ocean of doubt or circumstantial cunningness is a reality as harsh as the industrial revolutions, sexual and digital altogether. The trauma of the artistic becoming becomes thus the freeway of the penance without sin, while virtual radios replace some androids spectators placed on the edge of the Sisyphean route. Conformity only distorts, until flattening, the epicenters of the creative reactions, while the collective unconscious disrupts the chaos in a more and more ciphered synthetic collage.
This is the antagonistic mirage of the „Human Odyssey” imagined by Maria Marcu-PopArt – 192 crypto-collages that accentuate the subliminal visual message, instead of the subterfuge launched just to obtain a shallow special effect. The interpretation of the human emotion transforms under our eyes into a universal show in which the artist manages to project the holograms of present-past on the screen of the future-present as a necessary and irreversible spiritual retrocession.
In the face of any counterfeit ideologies, the „Human Odyssey” remains a palpable artistic manifest and an ensemble of universal symbols that outline but, above all, revolutionize the architecture of the dream.”
Two erotic paintings by Maria Marcu framed and displayed in a collector’s house from Virginia
Review from Dogbotz Boneyard:
„When asked what she wanted to reveal about herself as an artist, Maria Marcu-PopArt simply said: “I was born under a lucky star in Romania. A star that never ceased to illumine my path and guide my steps. I look at myself and I love what I see. I like how I am and where I have reached. I am at peace with myself and with others. I know who I am and what I want out of life.” Her art, presented in a Pop Art style, reflects the simple truth of who she is and what she ignites her soul. Pop art aims to use images of popular, as opposed to elitist, culture in art, emphasizing the banal or kitschy elements of any culture, most often through the use of irony. So, this is what contemporary pop artists, such as Maria Marcu-PopArt, strive to express through their works.
Dogbotz Boneyard appreciates the pop art works of Maria Marcu-PopArt because of her playful and often assertive use of popular icons found in comic books, posters, Japanese animé, and even Mid-Century East European Socialist images. Not only do the nudes in her artworks reveal the beauty of the women portrayed but also the impassioned souls contained therein.” (www.dogbotz.com – Chicago, U.S.A.)
Review from Babelio:
„I met Maria Marcu-PopArt during the Blecher Fest 2017 at Roman (festival dedicated to the Jewish writer Max Blecher) and I am delighted. She is a great artist whose work indeed claims two main orientations: eroticism and manifartism. In her artistic statement, Maria Marcu-PopArt recalls that she has the chance to live from her art in complete interdependence and freedom. Her art expresses, in fact, intimate emotions, which gave me great pleasure.” (Gabrielle Danoux, writer, book translator, critic – France)
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